Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Big Latch On!

A week from today mamas all across the nation will gather to attempt to break the world record for simultaneous breastfeeding during the Big Latch On.  (The current international world record is 9,826 nursing mothers, recorded at 325 sites in 16 countries in October 2010.)  Our local event is being held at Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City.  To participate, you must register between 10 and 10:30 am, then have your child latched on from 10:30 - 10:31 am. 

I'm really excited for the opportunity to be part of a (potential) world record-breaking event!  If you are interested in participating in the Big Latch On in your area, go here for more info.

And speaking of latching on, last week at the Latch On America event, I picked up quite a few goodie bags.  In one of the bags were some Lasinoh products along with a card of "Latch-On Tips".  It was so clever and helpful, I just had to share...
Lips          Baby’s lips turn outward
Areola    Baby takes one inch of areola into mouth along with nipple
Tickle      Tickle baby’s lips with your nipple to encourage a wide open mouth
Chin         Baby’s chin rests against breast
Hold        Hold breast with thumb on one side and fingers on the other to aid latch-on
Open      Bring baby to breast when baby’s mouth is wide open
No Pain  If you are feeling pain or discomfort, gently unlatch and try again

I think the last tip, No Pain, is the most important.  Breastfeeding should not hurt.  If your baby is not latched on properly, it will be painful and may lead to sore, cracked, or bleeding nipples. 

If you're struggling with obtaining a proper latch, hopefully the tips above will help.  If you've tried the tips above and still don't feel you're obtaining a good latch, try working with a lactation consultant or La Leche League leader.  You can always find a La Leche League leader by going here or by calling 1-877-4-LALECHE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Babywearing Photos

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding when you have more than one child. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

My first babywearing photo ever

Babywearing at the Beach

Babywearing in Kauai
(I really don't know how people travel WITHOUT wearing their babies!)

Babywearing a sleepy, nursing toddler in my homemade stretchy wrap.

My first "Tandem Babywearing" photo...
6 months pregnant and wearing a sick, nursing toddler

Wearing both munchkins on the outside

Not a babywearing photo of me (obviously), but how beautiful is this?

Observing everyone wearing babies in Guatemala had a profound impact on me.  It made me the babywearer I am today and I can't imagine life any other way!!

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

How I Am a Hippie

Image courtesy Travis_Simon

A couple weeks after Emi Lou was born, I went to a friend's house to have her take some pictures of us.  I had curled my hair and put on full face make up.  I think I was even wearing my fake lashes.  So we got to talking and my sweet friend said to me, "I love your blog, but what's with the 'hippie'?"

Now I'll admit, if you saw me on the street, you probably wouldn't think "hippie".  I love my Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon, but I've never had dreads, I shave my legs and armpits (before it gets noticeably long anyway), and I haven't owned Birkenstocks since the eighth grade.

But I've always kind of been the "hippie" of my family... doing "weird" things like wearing my baby, having a family bed, tandem nursing, cloth diapering, and having a natural hospital birth and then a home birth. 

Today I was reading Natural Urban Mamas blog post on Babywearing Myths and Misconceptions and she explained how babywearing is for hippies.  According to, Both the words "hip" and "hep" came from black American culture and denote awareness. To say "I'm hip to the situation" means "I am aware of the situation." Thus the word "hippie" means "one who is aware," and expanded awareness was a goal of the movement.

So in that sense of the word, I am absolutely a hippie!  I am a hippie for the Attachment Parenting movement (which is all about PEACEful parenting).  I'm a hippie for natural childbirth and the Homebirth movement.  I'm a hippie for breastfeeding, babywearing, and bedsharing.  I'm newly a hippie for cloth diapering and elimination communication.
Hippies en busca de la tierra prometida by efedefoto
"Hippies in search of the Promised Land"

So even though I don't look like this...

Image courtesy misterjt

... I can assure you I really am a hippie!

Monday, July 25, 2011

How Tandem Nursing Saves My Sanity!

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about reliable breastfeeding resources. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

I remember the first time I saw a picture of a tandem nursing pair... I was pregnant with Gigi and I had gotten a free copy of Mothering magazine from my midwife. (That magazine changed my life in so many ways!) In the letters to the editor section, there was a picture of a mother nursing her 3 year old and her 3 week old, and I remember thinking "Wow! That's kind of crazy!! There's no way I could ever do that!!!" 

Even though I knew I wanted to let my little one wean on her own, it somehow never occurred to me someone might nurse both a toddler and a newborn. I guess I figured my little Gigi would wean herself before I even tried to get pregnant again. I really didn't think she'd nurse past two years. 

Of course, after she was born, it quickly became apparent how much she loved nursing and that it wouldn't be something she'd give up easily or early. That child nursed to sleep, nursed to wake up, nursed for comfort, nursed because she was bored, and nursed for any other reason you could think of!

When I found out I was pregnant with Emi Lou, Gigi was 22 months old. She was still nursing a minimum of four times a day (and often much more than that) and all thru the night. There was no way I could consider weaning her. I knew how much it meant to her and didn't want to force her to give up nursing before she was ready, so I started researching tandem nursing.

I was surprised to learn that many moms who intend to tandem nurse don't make it thru the pregnancy without the older child weaning for one reason or another.  Children often wean themselves when the mother becomes pregnant, due to changes in the taste and quantity of the breastmilk, and mothers often find they must wean because nursing becomes too painful when they're pregnant. 

Fortunately for us, Gigi didn't seem bothered by changes in the taste of the milk and she was happy to dry nurse when there was hardly anything there. And fortunately for me, I didn't experience too much discomfort nursing while pregnant.

I read Adventures in Tandem Nursing, and found it to be a very valuable resource. It taught me that it's ok to set limits with nurslings, which I hadn't done before then. Gigi is a "twiddler", and that's one thing that had to stop when I was pregnant because it was the one thing that seemed to hurt. There were also times during the second trimester, when I didn't have much milk, that I had to implement the "Count to 10" rule because I could only handle dry nursing for so long!

I have to say, I'm so thankful that Gigi was old enough to understand me when I explained the changes we had to make to continue nursing. And now, during those times when Emi Lou needs my undivided attention while nursing, I'm glad that Gigi is understanding and waits for her sister to finish. It's also helpful that she's old enough and mobile enough to figure out all sorts of creative positions that allow her to nurse at the same time as Emi Lou!

I can't imagine life as a new mom-to-two without tandem nursing. Many of my friends have told me the hardest thing about having a second baby is trying to keep a reign on the older sibbling while they're feeding the newborn.  Big brother/sister is either fighting for your attention or off getting into mischeif! That's never a problem for us because the minute I sit down to nurse Emi Lou, Gigi is right there to join in the fun! It's so nice and relaxing to be able to lay in bed, with a little one in each arm, and enjoy the feel-good hormones released as we nurse.

And having a toddler who's willing to nurse on demand is extremely helpful when you suffer with oversupply and plugged ducts! In the early weeks, I always had to have Gigi nurse a little bit before I nursed Emi Lou because my let-down reflex was so strong that Emi Lou was constantly choking and gagging.  And even now, I get a plugged duct at least once a week, but thanks to having two nurslings (and one with a really well-developed, intense suck) I'm usually able to work out the plug in less than a day.

I think one of the sweetest benefits of tandem nursing is the bonding it can promote between sibblings. I definitely think it's helped Gigi to bond with her sister. She likes to help her sister get latched on and to hold her hand or hug her while they nurse. It just melts my heart watching them! I feel like they'll always have a very special bond as a result of tandem nursing.

I know tandem nursing isn't for everyone, but I encourage any nursing mother who's pregnant (or thinking about it), to at least consider tandem nursing. It has saved my sanity in so many ways... from sparing me the stress of weaning my toddler before she was ready, to allowing me to pacify her when she has a typical two-year-old meltdown, to giving me time to just put my feet up and relax when I need to! 

I'm not gonna lie... there are times when it's a little draining to be nursing two, but I doubt there's a mom of two out there (or a mom of one, for that matter!) who doesn't feel drained from time to time for one reason or another!  There are so many benefits of tandem nursing, for mama and the nurslings, and it can be such a special experience. It's an experience I hope to enjoy for at least another year... or two... (most children wean before they're five, right?!)

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Milk for Thought

Nursing Emi Lou in front of the big, pink bus

Have you heard about the 27 year old single guy (with no children) who's driving across the country in a 40 foot pink bus to raise awareness for breastfeeding?  Well his name is Ryan Comfort, and I had the privilege of meeting this fascinating individual at the Latch On America: Utah event last Friday, where I learned about his goal for the Latch On America tour and the vision for his website,

In a nutshell, the concept behind and the Latch On America tour is to create change by uniting the breastfeeding community.  Many moms know how difficult it can be to breastfeed... from problems with proper latch and sore nipples, to low milk supply or oversupply.  Imagine if there was a website you could visit to find videos showing how to get a proper latch or demonstrating different nursing positions to help slow the flow due to oversupply.  Imagine if, on that same website, you could browse profiles of lactation consultants or find local support groups for breastfeeding.  Well that's what Ryan hopes will become. 

According to their website, the goal of is the following:

At Milk for Thought, we want to change the landscape of breastfeeding — from attitudes to advocacy to education. Our goals are to work collaboratively to empower pregnant and breastfeeding moms by connecting them to local experts and counselors, baby-friendly hospitals and birthing centers, support groups, and other mothers who are out there and want so much to help. Instantly, new moms will get the support, encouragement, and shoulder to lean on that they need to have a successful breastfeeding journey.
The website is still under development, but eventually it will be kind of like a Facebook for breastfeeding (my analogy, not theirs!)  They had pamphlets at the event with some cool screen shots of what the social networking pages will look like. (Wish my scanner worked so I could share!)  Anyway, I can't wait till all the features of the website are up and running.  In the meantime, you can sign up for an account here so that you can be among the first to know as updates to the site are made!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why I feel the need to nurse in public!

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about the importance of breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

Me nursing Gigi in the Ergo as we waited to march in the Draper Days Parade
I'll admit it.  I'm not shy about "whipping it out," when necessary.  But if you would have asked me 5 years ago how I felt about nursing a baby in public (uncovered if necessary), I (like most Americans) would have told you it was weird and totally inappropriate.

I remember the first time I actually saw a mother nursing in public, uncovered.  It was about 5 years ago.  I was working at IKEA and the mother was waiting in line at the bistro.  I was shocked.  I remember saying to a co-worker, "Can you believe that mom is just standing there nursing?!"

Oh how the tables have turned!  I guess the first time I nursed "in public" was in the hospital.  Our friends Ian, Erin, and their daughter Ava visited us in the hospital the night Gigi was born, and since the hospital hadn't sent a lactation consultant my way (despite my numerous requests) and I was a clueless first time mom, I asked Erin to help me figure out this whole nursing thing. I tried to think of a way to cover myself so that Erin could see my baby and the goods, but Ian couldn't, but since all I had was the sheet on the bed and the hospital gown I was wearing, I just whipped it out.  I was desperate to feed my baby, so I figured Ian could either see the goods or look away.

I remember the first time I tried to nurse in public while covered.  I was in Albertsons, going on a super coupon shopping spree.  I was wearing Gigi in my Sleepy Wrap, my cart was full to the brim, and I was trying to find some granola bars that were free after coupon.  Suddenly I felt my  baby start rubbing her head back and forth between my breasts, searching for something to latch on to.  I knew she wouldn't be able to hold out till I finished shopping and checked out... till I could hide in a bathroom stall or in the car to nurse.  Luckily my sister-in-law had sent me a lovely nursing cover, so I pulled it out, then pulled out the goods and fed my baby. 

I still couldn't find the granola bars so I found a store employee to ask for assistance.  The employee I found looked like he was in his mid-forties (old enough to have kids) and was really tall.  Tall enough that he could surely see down the nursing cover.  When I asked where I could find the granola bars, he looked annoyed and said they didn't have any.  Truthfully, I'm not sure if the guy was annoyed that I was nursing in public, or annoyed that I was another crazy coupon lady looking for those free granola bars!

I'd say the nursing in public experience that really turned me into a lactivist though was an experience I had with just me and my co-worker.  My sweet co-worker, who ended up replacing me when I decided to stay home full time, was a mid-twenties single girl who was the youngest in her family.  One evening after everyone in the office had gone home for the day, we met to finish training her on the duties she would be taking over.  Little Gigi got hungry, so I put on my nursing cover and started nursing, while continuing to train my co-worker. 

Suddenly Gigi started sucking really loudly.  I'm not sure if it was really any louder than she normally was when she nursed, or if it just felt that way because it was so quiet in the office, but I could tell my co-worker was getting a little uncomfortable.  I appologized for what a noisy eater Gigi was, and she laughed and said "Yeah, AWKWARD!"

I felt bad for making my co-worker uncomfortable (I really do feel bad when I make people feel uncomfortable!) but as I drove home I got to thinking... Why does it make someone feel awkward to hear a baby suck loudly on a breast, yet people seem to think it's cute to hear those sounds when a bottle or pacifier is on the other end?  Why is it that what is natural doesn't seem normal?  Why is it that using a breast for its god-given purpose is seen as indecent?

It seems to me that the best way to normalize breastfeeding is not to hide it!  It's not "normal" because it's not something people normally see. 

True, it's possible to leave your cart full of groceries to go hide in the bathroom to nurse your baby, but do you like eating in the bathroom?  Why should a baby be forced to do so??  Some babies will allow you to cover them with a nursing cover, but many won't.  Should they not be allowed to eat?  I would bet that most people would be more disturbed and annoyed by the sound of a screaming, starving baby than a mother nursing uncovered.

I remember reading an article in Mothering Magazine about a woman who lived in Mongolia, a country where 93% of women are breastfeeding exclusively at 4 months and 82% continued for 12 - 15 months. She told of how breastfeeding women were highly revered... how taxi drivers would give her the thumbs up sign as she nursed her son, and vendors would clear a space for her in their stalls so her son could "drink up." (You can read the entire article here.)

How would it be to live in a country where women were embraced for breastfeeding their children whenever and wherever they were?  Unfortunately, women in our society are often harrassed instead. 

I was shocked when I learned that a local momma was recently harrassed in Whole Foods (of all places) for nursing her 18 month old.  The store manager and security guard couldn't understand why she wouldn't just "cover up".  I'm here to attest that not even my mellow little Gigi would let me keep any sort of cover over her after she was about 9 months old!  I really loved the momma's response to the "cover up" suggestion...
To me, when you ask a nursing mother to cover up it sends a message that what you are doing is wrong.  I didn't feel it was appropriate for them to tell me I was doing something wrong when I was nourishing my child.
A national nurse-in is being organized for Saturday, August 20th, and I definitely plan to attend.  I'm thinking about ordering some of these cards to hand out at the event, because really I don't think I could summarize the reasons I nurse in public any better than this...

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Favorite Breastfeeding Photos

So I've been wanting to participate in "Wordless Wednesday" for a while now, but as we all know, I have a hard time blogging regularly.  I was all excited to participate in the blog carnival hosted by The Breastfeeding Cafe, but kind of intimidated as well since I've never participated in a blog carnival and I'm afraid of deadlines.  Then I somehow overlooked the fact that the blog carnival was happening in the weeks leading up to all the Breastfeeding Cafe events, and didn't realize that the blog carnival had already started until I got Hobo Mama's Wordless Wednesday email.  I tried emailing the "blog carnival mistress" but I guess I was a little too late to be included in the blog carnival today... I'm going to post this anyway...

This is the only professional picture I've had taken.  I'm looking forward to having some more taken as part of a fundraiser the Breastfeeding Cafe is holding.

I think this was my first breastfeeding pic ever taken. (Amazing quality, I know!)  I love that Gigi looks as orange as a pumpkin, and that my breast is bigger than her head!

Cookies and Milk!

First picture of Emi Lou nursing.  She's probably only about 10 minutes old in this picture. (I'm not 100% sure because I just discovered the date and time on my hubby's camera are off!)

I love this portrait my friend Ginger took when Emi Lou was 2 weeks old

This is how we spend a good portion of the day... especially when my hubby is traveling, as it seems to be the only way I can keep everyone content sometimes!


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